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#1487379 - 08/03/10 03:12 PM Cold Hands
MikeN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Ohio
For me, of all the Uncontrollable conditions that musicians have to deal with temperature is the worst. Drop me into a cold room with a piano and I immediately become some random kid who has never touched a piano in his life. Even in slightly chilly climates my fingers tend to be stiff and my hand the equivalent of ice cubes.

Any advice for dealing with cold hands.

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#1487385 - 08/03/10 03:22 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: MikeN]
Jophiel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/10
Posts: 49
I have same problem :-D I play something fast (chopin etudes) or put my hands under warm water, do short exercise smile

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#1487386 - 08/03/10 03:22 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: MikeN]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
My hands are always cold, it seems. I like to get some of those "hot hands" thingys, those little packets that you shake up and they become warm. I hold it before I get up to play. I also do hand stretches, pretend to play scales, stuff like that.

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#1487394 - 08/03/10 03:35 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
anajess Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 89
Exercising just before you sit down at the piano helps a lot. You could also try doing a lot of hands separate practice and hold onto a mug of hot water with your spare hand. If you have severe raynaud's syndrome, your doctor might be able to prescribe you medicine to help.

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#1487401 - 08/03/10 03:43 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: anajess]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
hot water, clap hands, put them in your mouth.
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1487405 - 08/03/10 03:47 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: Victor25]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6035
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I take big, fuzzy, winter gloves or mittens with me to piano competitions and any other kind of performance, no matter the temperature.

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#1487413 - 08/03/10 03:57 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: Orange Soda King]
MikeN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Ohio
I was actually considering doing that. As long as I don't dress heavily I won't get mistaken for Glenn Gould's Ghost.

I've done who practice sessions of heavy technical repertoire(badly) and my hand are still frost-sickles.

It's kind of weird actually, I can play some Chopin Etudes rather decently, but anything that requires a large range of tonal colors or very fine passage work is impossible.

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#1487422 - 08/03/10 04:08 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: MikeN]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
I try to avoid rubbing my hands together because that can make them tense. The best way is to fill a sink with warm (not hot) water and rest your hands in it for at least 5 mins, to allow them to come to temperature gradually. Also I find hanon exercises (with raised fingers and exaggerated movements) quite good at warming you up, or at least helping you to overcome the stiffness from the cold.
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

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#1487428 - 08/03/10 04:16 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: debrucey]
DianneB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 89
Take an empty plastic water bottle to the recital/event and fill with hot water when you get there. Hold hot water bottle.

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#1487430 - 08/03/10 04:20 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: debrucey]
MikeN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Ohio
Thanks, I'll try the sink and water. The Hanon does nothing for me.

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#1487457 - 08/03/10 05:12 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: MikeN]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
Strangely enough it happens to me quite often that I get cold hands in hot, i.e. high temperature, circumstances, just before getting on stage in 40C (that's in the 100s) Italy, a few weeks ago, I had cold fingers, luckily the first piece was a good warm up, as I nearly always try to do: have a comfortable piece at the beginning.
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#1487725 - 08/04/10 12:17 AM Re: Cold Hands [Re: dolce sfogato]
SpecialKeysCereal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 35
Sounds like me... I almost feel like how I did when a learned to type as a little kid- i counted the keys to make sure they were all there. smile
Unfortunately last year it happened... during my piano exam. This year I will bring those heat packs to my exam. Warm water made me cold when I got into the cold room, maybe because of the contrast.

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#1487833 - 08/04/10 06:43 AM Re: Cold Hands [Re: SpecialKeysCereal]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I shine a couple of lamps on the keyboard.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1487837 - 08/04/10 07:04 AM Re: Cold Hands [Re: keyboardklutz]
Zindaras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 180
Loc: The Netherlands
I tend to get cold hands very quickly, so I tend to use gloves a lot more than other people. If I still feel my fingers getting cold, I try to move them as much as possible to get them warm. Usually, this will stop me from having any problems. If the problem persists during piano playing, even with the tips of the other people here, I might consider getting equestrian gloves and wearing them during playing. I once borrowed a pair of very thin gloves that basically weighed nothing and didn't impede hand movement at all, but still kept my hands less cold. Don't expect miracles, but it might work.
_________________________
"Practice makes perfect, but obsession makes better."

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#1491607 - 08/09/10 01:21 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: Zindaras]
pianoman6584 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 109
In my experience, you pretty much have to warm up allot, keep your hands active. Usually heating them from the outside doesn't do much because they're still stiff on the inside. The only way around this in my experience is to play ALLOT. It may take an hour or so, but your fingers will be huge and swollen with blood (in a good way) at the end.

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#1491623 - 08/09/10 01:42 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: pianoman6584]
MikeN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Ohio
Usually that requires playing at the very top of your dynamic range. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

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#1491707 - 08/09/10 03:30 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: MikeN]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
There are battery-powered mittens, etc., available. Things like these are usually sold for outdoor sportsmen. I was able to find a few possible solutions with a quick Google search. I forgot to copy the links, sorry.

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#1491729 - 08/09/10 03:54 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: moscheles001]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1006
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
One word...Snuggie!!

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#1491944 - 08/09/10 06:56 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: jdhampton924]
Urtext Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 12
I've always brought mittens or gloves to my performances, but they have always seemed to work against me in the long run. My hands seem to be very sensitive to change of temperature; the heat the mittens/gloves create becomes a perspiration, and when I remove them the sweat begins to freeze. cry

My teacher once told me to (with mittens/gloves if needed) swing your arms around your upper body in a loose manner. It's difficult to describe to another about what it looks like, but it's basically just rotating your upper body while keeping steady hips and legs, and let your arms swing around you loosely, thus rushing blood back to your hands. I believe that I have used this method at least once, and it worked quite well.
_________________________
Music, is Language.

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#1491949 - 08/09/10 07:03 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: Urtext]
tommytones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Northeast America
Try to quit smoking, if you're a smoker. I had the same problem...my hands would get cold even in the summer. Once I quit smoking, the cold hands subsidided (at least in the summer months.)

Good luck!
_________________________
tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3

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#1491955 - 08/09/10 07:11 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: tommytones]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
I quit smoking once, but not for cold-hands-syndrome, and my hands wouldn't warm up, I smoked again, result: no problem....any medical reason?
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#1492429 - 08/10/10 07:16 AM Re: Cold Hands [Re: dolce sfogato]
SamOnThePiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 239
Loc: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
How bout its your forearm thats cold? And its right before a competition/performance/recital?
_________________________
Never,ever lose against yourself and always try to be a better person than you ever were yesterday.

Founder of my own dreams, to become a concert pianist.

I am Samuel Cho(click!) and music is what I'm here for.

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#1492444 - 08/10/10 07:49 AM Re: Cold Hands [Re: SamOnThePiano]
Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/10
Posts: 159
Loc: Canada
clapping seems to warm up my hands! makes blood rush to them i find

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#1492706 - 08/10/10 03:02 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: Richter]
breakfast shark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/10
Posts: 20
I find the best way is cure cold hands is get my overall heart-rate up, instead of just focusing on adding heat to my extremeties. The latter (for me) only lasts a very short while, before the heat dissipates and I'm back to square one.

It might look silly, but try doing something like 20 jumping jacks, or 10-15 burpies. Once your heart rate is good to go, then hop on the piano and play something simple to loosen your hand muscles and get the extra blood flowing there.

This way your hands become warm, and stay warm.

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#1492857 - 08/10/10 05:51 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: breakfast shark]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
normally, in concertlife, one has a piano of sometimes rather poor quality to keep the fingers busy, fine, but sometimes THEY don't, aarghh, so one has to find a way to keep the 10 moving, moving, moving, it's possible, but not very practical, not to speak of musical aspects...
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#1495909 - 08/14/10 03:23 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: dolce sfogato]
tommytones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Northeast America
Stretching is also a good way to get those fingers nimble!
_________________________
tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3

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#1495911 - 08/14/10 03:27 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: tommytones]
MikeN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Ohio
It's interesting because now I just try to avoid any finger driven movements, and I just try to do everything wrist guided.

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#1495920 - 08/14/10 03:40 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: MikeN]
DianneB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 89
"It might look silly, but try doing something like 20 jumping jacks, or 10-15 burpies."

What is a burpie?

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#1496214 - 08/14/10 11:21 PM Re: Cold Hands [Re: DianneB]
breakfast shark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/10
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: DianneB
"It might look silly, but try doing something like 20 jumping jacks, or 10-15 burpies."

What is a burpie?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DVzT5mqeew

it looks pretty silly, but it's an extremely good full body exercise. It hits a lot of muscle groups and gets you warmed up very quickly. Once your body is warm, then your fingers will naturally be warm as well.

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